Wednesday 25th April saw the annual Citizen of the Year award ceremony in the Town Hall, speaking at his last civic event as Mayor of Malmesbury, Cllr Wayne Jones said "it is my pleasure‎ to host this special evening where we recognise the work of the unsung heroes of our community. It is quite right that we turn the spotlight on these unassuming people and groups. They do so much to make a really positive contribution to the lives of so many of our people and make their lives better as a result."

 

Four people had been shortlisted for the Malmesbury Citizen of the Year‎;

  • Iona Pinchis, this years' winner was nominated to recognise her tireless work for the residents of Glovers Court over the last ten years. 
  • Malmesbury Carnival Committee Chair, Deborah Clogg
  • Heals charity General Manager, Judith Fooks 
  • Gynnette Ranger-Walsh for her voluntary work with the young people of Malmesbury Beaver Scouts and Primary School.

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Citizen of the Year Winner 2018 - Iona Pinchis

The Organisation or Group of the Year Award is given in memory of former Town Councillor and past Treasurer of the Malmesbury Carnival Paul Dove. The award and trophy were presented by Paul's former life partner, Lisa Huntley who flew from Turkey to attend the ceremony.

Presenting the award Lisa said "Paul loved Malmesbury and‎ its people. It is always a pleasure to be here and to recognise the amazing work these groups do for the town."

The three finalists were:

  • University of the Third Age (U3A), voted winner for 2018. The U3A provide a huge and very diverse programme of talks and activities for its rapidly growing membership of 400 local residents so creating new friendships and breaking down the loneliness that can blight older people's lives.
  • Malmesbury Community Carnival Radio. This was set up in 2017 and already has over 800 listeners‎. They have heard from 70 participants in its first year. 
  • Malmesbury River Valley Trust that bought, created and maintain the town's nature reserves thanks to the work of 20 volunteers‎. The Trust celebrated both its 25th anniversary in 2017 as well as ten years of leadership from its Chair of Trustees, Frances Goldstone.

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Group/Organisation of the Year Winner 2018 - U3A

The Mayor congratulated all those who had been nominated. "While there is a winner of each award, the truth is you are all winners and that is why you are here tonight."

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Nominees for Citizen of the Year 2018

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Nominees for Group/Organisation of the Year 2018

Speaking at the awards ceremony town councillor Gavin Grant said "the special meeting of town councillors to decide who wins is one of the best and worst of our meetings‎. It's the best because you hear about the amazing voluntary work of so many tremendous people, but it's the worst because we then have to choose the winners and that is an almost impossible task."

One discordant note struck on the night came when it was revealed that there were no nominations for the Malmesbury Young Citizen of the Year.

Announcing  this at the ceremony Cllr Wayne Jones said "This is the first time that we have no nominations for this award. I cannot believe that there are no extraordinary young people in our town or at our secondary school who are working to help others. We will look at why this has happened and what we need to do to make sure it is never happens again."

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